Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

February 11, 2002

Library of Congress Convenes Sessions for Input on National Digital Collection, Access and Preservation Project

The Library of Congress this week convened a group to discuss possible scenarios for the development of an infrastructure for the collection, access and preservation of digital information.

This scenario planning follows a series of convening sessions, held last November, that brought together a cross section of industry and other stakeholder communities for their input on the first stages of the digital infrastructure program. This week's workshop was the first in the scenario planning process.

The National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP) is being led by the Strategic Initiatives unit of the Library of Congress.

The objective of the plan for the NDIIPP is to encourage shared responsibility and to seek national solutions for:

  • the continued collection, selection and organization of the most historically significant materials, regardless of evolving digital formats;
  • the long-term storage, preservation and survivability of those digital materials;
  • and ensuring rights-protected access to the growing electronic historical record of the American people.

"The Library of Congress is very encouraged by the level of support it has received for this critical national program to ensure the availability of digital materials for generations to come," said Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Laura Campbell. "We look forward to collaborating with the information community as we determine an infrastructure for the collection, access and preservation of electronic information."

As part of the national program plan, the Library will seek common ground among stakeholders and experts as the foundation on which to base a strategy for a digital infrastructure. The Library of Congress plans to deliver the strategic plan to Congress later this year.

Approximately 25 invitees attended this week's workshop. Attendees at all sessions represented primarily content creators, distributors and users, including media and entertainment (film, television, music); publishing; research libraries; heritage preservation organizations; universities; private foundations; and independent authors and artists.

Participants also included representatives from other interested federal agencies: the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation; and the Department of Commerce. The U.S. Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress and other units of the Library also participated.

Background

In December 2000, Congress authorized the Library of Congress to develop and execute a congressionally approved plan for a National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

The Library of Congress digital strategy is being formulated in concert with a study, commissioned by the Librarian of Congress, by the National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress, was issued July 26, 2000, and made several recommendations, including that the Library, working with other institutions, take the lead in the preservation and archiving of digital materials. The National Research Council is part of the National Academy of Sciences.

The legislation mandates that the Library work with federal entities such as the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and "other federal, research and private libraries and institutions with expertise in telecommunications technology and electronic commerce policy," including the Online Computer Library Center, the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Research Libraries Group.

The Library, through its National Digital Library (NDL) Program, is one of the leading providers of noncommercial intellectual content on the Internet (www.loc.gov). The NDL Program's American Memory Project, in collaboration with more than 30 institutions nationwide, makes freely available more than 7 million American historical items.

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PR 02-016
02/11/02
ISSN 0731-3527

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